New technology opening markets for the chicken industry in Newfoundland and Labrador

News release

December 9, 2022 – St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Joanne Thompson, Member of Parliament for St. John's East, on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honourable Derrick Bragg, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture, today announced an $800,000 investment from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership that will help Country Ribbon Inc. deliver more fresh, local chicken to major retailers in Newfoundland and Labrador through the purchase of air-chill technology and secondary processing equipment.

Minister Davis and MP Thompson made the announcement at Country Ribbon Inc.'s farm complex near Cochrane Pond. They were joined by Ian MacKinnon, president of Country Ribbon Inc.

There is a growing demand for locally raised chicken that is air-chilled as opposed to water chilled. Unlike traditional cooling methods, air-chill technology cools the product without retaining excess moisture. By changing its cooling technology, Country Ribbon will increase the amount of local chicken sold in grocery stores across Newfoundland and Labrador and substantially improve food self-sufficiency in the province.

This project is funded under the Partnership's Agriculture Processing and Value-Added Program to help realize new market opportunities, and will enhance poultry processing capacity, support food safety practices, and produce quality poultry products. The investment is expected to help Country Ribbon access new domestic markets and increase food self-sufficiency in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a $3-billion, five-year (2018-2023) investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to innovate, strengthen and grow Canada's agriculture and agri-foods sector. This includes a $2-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60% federally and 40% provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories. The program will be replaced by the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a new $3.5-billion, five-year agreement, between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, in effect from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2028.

In the first four years, the Partnership has committed approximately $26 million to fund 558 agriculture projects in Newfoundland and Labrador, including 46 new, first-year farmers. Projects under the Partnership focus on new entrants, secondary processing, food self-sufficiency, climate change, and risk mitigation for the agriculture industry. They also support innovation and environmental sustainability. More information on the Partnership is available in the backgrounder below.


"The Government of Canada strongly supports supply-managed sectors including poultry, which is an important industry for Newfoundland and Labrador. With this Canadian Agricultural Partnership investment for new air-chill processing technology, Country Ribbon Inc. will improve their productivity and competitiveness, leading to the opening of new markets and a more resilient sector overall."

-  The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"Country Ribbon Inc. is playing a crucial role in strengthening food self-sufficiency in Newfoundland and Labrador. The $800,000-investment from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership will help the company modernize and expand its markets and make more homegrown chicken available in more stores here in the province. We look forward to the company's continued success, and to working together to increase food self-sufficiency in Newfoundland and Labrador for the future."

-  The Honourable Derrick Bragg, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture 

"As a result of today's announcement, Country Ribbon is able to begin major investments in its operations. We will immediately begin a $20-million investment over the next year, including an air chill system that will allow more local chicken to be delivered to more major retailers in Newfoundland and Labrador. This will provide a product that is preferable to customers and will replace chicken that is currently imported from the mainland. We thank the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada for their commitment to our local poultry industry, as this funding will help ensure the future livelihoods of local farms and the 300 employees of Country Ribbon."

-  Ian MacKinnon, President, Country Ribbon Inc.

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For media:

Marianne Dandurand
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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Linda Skinner
Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture
709-637-2284, 632-8167

Cathy Dornan
Country Ribbon Inc.

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